AURORA, Colo. (CBS4)– The independent investigation into the Aurora Police Department and Aurora Fire Rescue’s handling of the arrest and later death of Elijah McClain in August 2019 has revealed a statement that is being called “shocking” and “inappropriate.” The report was released on Monday morning and recommended major changes within the police force and how officers communicate with paramedics and other first responders.
The 23-year-old McClain was stopped after a 911 call regarding a suspicious person. The independent investigation revealed that the caller, days later, was contacted again and the person asked a police detective if the person reported as acting oddly was caught.READ MORE: 'Elijah McClain Should Still Be Here': Aurora Police Chief Vanessa Wilson Responds To Report Calling For Major Changes
The detective replied, “…yes, he was caught and I don’t know if he was a bad person, but he got the help that he needed.”
Mari Newman, the attorney for McClain’s father, responded to that statement, “That is absolutely shocking, the idea that they would try to convey he got what he needed… my goodness, they killed an innocent young man.”
During an online news conference about the investigation report on Tuesday, Aurora Police Chief Vanessa Wilson was asked about the detective’s comment and responded, “I believe that response can be taken a number of ways and obviously him losing his life, that’s a completely inappropriate statement for that.”
Wilson would not comment on the conduct of her officers’ handling of McClain because of a grand jury investigation; McClain died six days after he was stopped by Aurora police while walking home. He was placed in retraining holds during the encounter with police officers who requested assistance from firefighters.
Aurora Fire Chief Fernando Gray was questioned about the use of the sedative ketamine by his paramedics.READ MORE: Elijah McClain Investigation: Implicit Bias Among Focuses From Independent Investigation
“We do not envision reimplementing ketamine into our system within the next 30 days,” he said.
It is alleged that McClain was given far too much ketamine. Gray said new measures are being taken to prevent that.
Aurora City Manager Jim Twombly at the news conference called for creation of an office of independent monitor to examine police actions after concerning incidents. He called the contents of the report “disgusting” and “a failure of system accountability.”
MORE NEWS: Elijah McClain’s Mother Relieved With Independent Review: ‘I Just Miss Him’
Independent Investigation on the Death of Elijah McClain pic.twitter.com/8UE2Lzd6pu
— Mayor Mike Coffman (@AuroraMayorMike) February 23, 2021
Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman tweeted his response to the report, “Seeing video and reports on the tragic death of Elijah McClain has always been heart-wrenching, and those feelings were only intensified when I read the report. The report’s conclusions reveal a number of problems and oversights that prevent our residents from getting the level of safe and equal response they deserve from our police officers, firefighters and paramedics. I am saddened by this report and call on our City Council to carefully ensure that these recommendations are put into place quickly and effectively. I also call on our city management and public safety chiefs to redouble their ongoing efforts to establish a new culture of accountability and service with even greater urgency in light of this report. We must take every possible step to rebuild our community’s trust. I am going to do everything in my power to ensure these outcomes.”